Yesterday’s post looked at our title question: Why Should God Bless You? Today, we move to the second part of our question: Glorify His Name Among Whom?
God blesses us so that we might glorify His name among whom? Among those who are already believers? Among those who call themselves Christians? Among other Americans? Among those who are similar to yourself?
The second part of verse 2 and verse 3 show that God’s goal is much broader:
(Psalms 67:2-3) “That thy way may be known upon earth, thy saving health among all nations. (3) Let the people praise thee, O God; let all the people praise thee.”
Let the people praise You, let all the people praise You. God aims to glorify Himself, not only among those already identified as His people, not only among those who are similar to His people – but among all nations, among all the people. (Revelation 7:9-10) help us to understand the use of the word “people.” John here has a vision of the eternal state, where God’s people are around His throne praising Him. Note the types of people found here:
(Rev 7:9-10) “After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; (10) And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.”
In this vision of the vast multitude around the throne of God, John sees those from every tribe and tongue and people and nation praising God. No group of people is left out; every cultural group, every language group is represented before the throne of God.
Why is it important for God to bring to Himself those from every “people” group?
Think: if any group were left out, then someone might say, ‘The cultural barriers between Christianity and my people group are too strong; it is too difficult for me to believe in Jesus.’ Indeed, As Revelation 7:9-10 show, He will bring to Himself a vast number of believers, coming from every cultural and linguistic group. Thus for us, the task of missions is not complete until there is a true Church among every people group on this planet.
We must, therefore, reach out not only to those in our own culture, but also to those who are different from us. We must spread the gospel in our own neighborhoods, and also cross-culturally. With thousands of people groups yet unreached with the gospel; with millions of people having no Christian witness from anyone in their own culture – we must focus mission efforts on reaching these unreached groups. Thus, God gives us the mandate, and He promises to bring to empower us to fulfill that mandate, so that believers will come to Him from all the nations. So, Psalm 67 tells us that God blesses us so that all the people will praise His Name.
So, we have asked two main questions and have seen two answers:
- What is the purpose of God blessing His people? To bring glory to His Name
- God desires to be glorified among whom? Among All People
Let’s turn now to another question: What is the Impact on the People?
Some of you might be thinking, ‘I thought missions were about helping people, meeting their physical and spiritual needs. By saying that all this is for the glory of God, aren’t you diminishing the importance of these people themselves? Aren’t you downplaying the importance of meeting real human needs?’
Psalms 67:3-4 answer this question – and remember, Psalm 67:4 is the literary center of the Psalm, and thus is emphasized heavily in the original language:
(Psalms 67:3-4) “Let the people praise thee, O God; let all the people praise thee. (4) O let the nations be glad and sing for joy: for thou shalt judge the people righteously, and govern the nations upon earth. Selah.”
When the people praise God, when God is glorified in their lives, what happens to them?
Those who don’t praise Him, those who are walking in darkness, those who are bound by fears of false gods and idols – those people are without joy. The rest of verse 4 explains, in part, why this is the case: “…for thou shalt judge the people righteously, and govern the nations upon earth. Selah.” No other ruler, no other god, will be just, straight, upright in his dealings; no other ruler, no other god, will guide them in the paths of righteousness. (Indeed, we find the same Hebrew word translated “govern” here, translated “leadeth” in (Psalm 23:3) “… he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.”)
Moslems, Buddhists, nominal Christians – all those who are without a vital relationship with the only living and true God – do not have what the Apostle Peter calls “joy unspeakable,” the deep gladness and joy of knowing God Himself. For if God is at the center of all things; if He is the most beautiful, most loving, most powerful of all beings – then recognizing who He is, being in relationship to Him, being led and guided and governed by Him, is the source of the greatest joy imaginable. The people have joy as they glorify God. Indeed, the more joy they have in Him, the more they glorify Him.
In conclusion, let me ask you three more questions:
1) Do you know Jesus Christ, the Son of God, as Savior and Lord? For without Him, all other blessings – health, wealth, life itself – are brief, temporary, of no lasting value. He is the only way to true blessings.
If we reject Him, as the author of the book of Hebrews writes, our prospects are only a terrifying expectation of judgment. Ask God to break through your thick head and tough skin! Ask Him to remove your heart of stone and replace it with a heart of flesh! Fall before Him, saying, ‘Could you save even me?’ And He will do so; a broken heart He will never despise.
2) Those of you who do know Him, who recognize Him as your Lord and Savior: Do you crave God’s blessings? I hope you do! Be like Jabez, knowing that unless God blesses you, you have nothing of value at all.
3) But why do you seek God’s blessings? Do you acknowledge that your chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever? Ask God to bless you in such a way that you can bring great glory to Him. Ask God not to give you any temporal blessing that won’t give Him glory. Ask God to bless you in such a way that peoples who have never praised the only living and true God might do so. Ask God to enable you to witness boldly and lovingly to the thousands you encounter every month who are, by nature, children of wrath; who are walking in darkness; who are without hope, without God in the world. Ask God, “Is it I, Lord? I will go, Lord, wherever You lead me.”
Ask Him for all this, so that God might be recognized and proclaimed as supreme in every language on this planet, to the great joy of all the people. Let the nations be glad and sing for joy!